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Old Apr 11, 2004, 2:37 PM   #1
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Default A DiMage Z2 issue and a moral dilemma

The Issue:

The Quicktime movies recorded by my (and Steve's Digicams review camera) DiMage Z2 will lose their audio track if edited with the included software. The audio track in movies will not load correctly at all in any other video editing software. This occurs with both movies created on the camera I purchased, and with the sample movie available from Steve's Digicams. The movie available from Steve's Digicams for the DiMage Z1 does not show this problem and will render audio correctly.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have a solution?


The Moral Dilemma:

I bought this camera from Newegg.com. I feel like I should put a post in their online reviews informing other customers of this issue, but I also want to give Konica-Minolta a chance to repy to the email I just sent them regarding this problem before I put a negative post. I'm hoping that they have a firmware or software patch that I could mention when I do post this issue to Newegg's forum.

What should I do?
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 6:14 PM   #2
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iT'S A PITY THAT THE MUCH ANTICIPATED CAMERA HAS THIS PROBLEM.However I'm not so much interested in a movies, less so in editing them...
Besides that how is the camera? What about other issues with Z1 , are they corrected? (more than usual "purple fringing" and "lens rattle")
Regards.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 8:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driliagor
iT'S A PITY THAT THE MUCH ANTICIPATED CAMERA HAS THIS PROBLEM.However I'm not so much interested in a movies, less so in editing them...
Besides that how is the camera? What about other issues with Z1 , are they corrected? (more than usual "purple fringing" and "lens rattle")
Regards.
I have only handled the Z1 in a Ritz camera store, so I can't compare them directly. So far, I haven't seen any purple fringing, and the lens does seem more firmly placed than the one on the Z1. Also, I have had no problems switching between the viewfinder and the LCD screen, as some have reported happens with the Z1. Aside from the audio problem, I love this camera. I just got back from the zoo and overheard people muttering about not having enough zoom or their batteries only being good for 20 photos. None of these problems with the Z2! Battery life is incredible and the 10x zoom always seems to do the job.

If they can offer a patch to fix the audio problem, I would say it's as close to the perfect camera that $400 will buy.

That's a big "if" for me though, because I bought this camera, in large part, for it's supposed excellent video capabilities.

I hope Konica-Minolta is reading this, and figures out how to fix the problem.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 10:05 PM   #4
hst
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Default Don't wait on your email

I had a Minolta with major issues. I had emailed them twice and never got a response back. Finally called them but was past my 14 days for return time for the camera once I finally got ahold of someone to help me. Two trips to their factory and they wanted me to send it again. I sold it because of the poor support. If your unhappy with the camera and your within your return time, send it back if the video feature is important to you. Don't rely on them changing it. If you really like the camera, you can always purchase another one once they have addressed the problem if they do. Make sure they know your returning it because of it not working properly and be sure they are not going to charge you the 15% restock fee because of the fault merchandize.

Just some advise take it or leave it.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 10:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Don't wait on your email

Quote:
Originally Posted by hst
I had a Minolta with major issues. I had emailed them twice and never got a response back. Finally called them but was past my 14 days for return time for the camera once I finally got ahold of someone to help me. Two trips to their factory and they wanted me to send it again. I sold it because of the poor support. If your unhappy with the camera and your within your return time, send it back if the video feature is important to you. Don't rely on them changing it. If you really like the camera, you can always purchase another one once they have addressed the problem if they do. Make sure they know your returning it because of it not working properly and be sure they are not going to charge you the 15% restock fee because of the fault merchandize.

Just some advise take it or leave it.
Thanks for the advice, but I don't have the option for a refund, only an exchange for the same item. Hopefully, Minolta has changed since your experience.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Update on Z2 video-editing problem & a conspiracy theory

I found that it is possible to edit the videos recorded on the Konica-Minolta DiMage Z2 in iMovie on Macintosh running OSX. It takes a very long time to import the Z2's Quicktime movies, which makes me think that iMovie is re-rendering the video/audio into another format.

Nevertheless, new movies created from an iMovie project will keep their audio. Even more interesting, these new movies, created by iMovie, can be imported and edited using the VideoImpression 2 software bundled with the Z2 on a Windows computer. They can even be converted to Windows Media Video while still preserving the sound.

So I'm wondering if the Z2 employs a new or "special" Quicktime codec that is compatible with Macintosh computers, but not fully so with Windows computers. I would not put it past Apple to try to nudge people over to Macs by making hardware that uses Quicktime codecs (as many cameras do) to be "more" compatible with their computers than with Wintel boxes.

In any case, I don't have $2000 to buy a Macintosh as a workaround. I'm keeping the camera (not like I really have a choice) since it does take great photos, has awesome battery life and a terrific zoom, but I have to say that I'm disappointed with both Konica-Minolta and Arcsoft who never answered my emails about this issue. Konica-Minolta tech support told me on the phone that they did not even have the software that was bundled with the camera to test the problem. Perhaps I expect too much, but if the engineers can do the amazing work they have done with cameras like this, it seems that the company would at least supply tech support with the tools they need to test and support the product.

If Apple intentionally created this incompatibility for Windows users, I think they are doing themselves and their customers a disservice and should correct it.

If Konica-Minolta made a mistake in the implementation of the movie feature on the Z2, I think they are also doing themselves and their customers a disservice by not issuing a firmware update to fix the problem.

I don't think ArcSoft created this problem, but if they can create a patch for VideoImpression 2 that will allow Quicktime movies to be edited and preserve their audio, it would demonstrate real dedication to their customers.

Forgive the length of this post. I realize that it turned into somewhat of a rant. But isn't that what the Web is for?
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 10:19 PM   #7
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I'm considering the Z2 and the video feature is important to me. Are you saying that it loses audio completely or is it only when you try to edit it? Are you able to save just the raw video? Thanks.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 11:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassidyfan
I'm considering the Z2 and the video feature is important to me. Are you saying that it loses audio completely or is it only when you try to edit it? Are you able to save just the raw video? Thanks.
The Quicktime video files captured by the camera will play in the Quicktime player just fine. You can trim the video directly on the camera, and that edited video will also play just fine.

If you try to import the video into some video editing programs, the audio will be imported as noise. If you import the video into the bundled Arcsoft VideoImpression 2 software, and try to save an edited video in any format (including Quicktime) it will lose its audio. I have not found a video editing program for Windows that will handle the Quicktime videos created by the DiMage Z2.

The raw video files can be transfered to a computer, played, copied and saved, but the compression is quite low and the files are very large, especially for 30 fps video.

I hope this helps you with your decision.
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 12:07 AM   #9
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Thanks! I'm too wishy washy. I'll read a good review of the Z2 and think that's the one I want to buy, but then there'll be a string of negative comments and I start second guessing.
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 12:59 AM   #10
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I have successfully import movies with the sound using PowerDirector by Cyberlink. You can download a free 30 day trial of the software from www.gocyberlink.com. I have been playing with this software for a couple of weeks and while it doesn't have many bells and whistles, it is very fast at encoding mpeg2.
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